Flying car impresses at the New York Auto Show

April 24, 2012 12:00 AM

The Terrafugia Transition flying car made its world debut at the New York International Auto Show, and it was by far the most popular attraction. During the course of the 13-day auto show, there was rarely a moment when the car was not surrounded by crowds of people waiting to catch a glimpse of the car that turns into a plane for themselves.

Flying cars have long been a pipe dream, and while many attempts have been made in the past, the Transition is the first vehicle to be an airplane transformed for the road. Previous models destined for the skies never made it because they were cars designed for flight, the spokesperson said as he began the demonstration of unfolding the wings. It takes less than 45 seconds for the wings to completely unfold and be flight-ready, and the same amount of time to retract them.

The car cannot just take off from the highway, but it can be flown out of nearly any airport in the country. All it takes to be certified to drive the flying car is 20 hours of flight time and a Sport Pilot license. Since the car is part plane, auto repairs may be a bit pricier than traditional vehicles, and drivers will need to be concerned with more than just the brake repair and fuel injection cleaning. The Transition also runs on premium gas, so you won't have to fill up on jet fuel to use your vehicle on land or in the air.

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